Driving & Parking, Amsterdam
Check... check... double check, is what you should do if ever you plan on driving in Amsterdam and you need to park your car. Make sure to throw in enough money in the machine. If you don't see a machine in the city centre, remeber to look more carfeully because it's not free to aprk in the city centre. If you don't pay (enough), you risk getting this nice little yellow wheel clamp attached to your car, which makes it impossible to drive away. It's a nightmare, so don't forget to pay!!!
Amsterdam has a strict and expensive parking control. If you haven't payed your ticket or have parked your car at the wrong spot, you end up with DE WIELKLEM. Removing cost a lot of money and retrieving your car once it has been towed away cost even more!
2008 Update: From January 1, 2009 the parking police will not use the "wielklem" anymore. It was not friendly enough for foreign visitors.
Be sure to pay your parking fee and only parc where allowed....otherwise you might have to travel to the lot where the police keep the towed away cars with such a nice yellow wheel lock.
You will leave Amsterdam a nice donation that s fer sure :-)
Arriving in AMS we first searched a parking place in the streets near the main station to have a look for a tourist information. An hour later back at the car the CARDOOR WAS BROKEN!!! Damn!! Finally nothing important was stolen, the thiefs searched probably for the car papers, but I had them with me. Nevertheless the shock was high! Well, so we went to a police station and asked as well where parking is most safe in AMS.....what the really friendly policeman said was: IN THE STREETS! and most safe: IN THE STREETS IN FRONT OF POLICE STATION.....hahaha, well, I had my car just left there and our hotel was by chance as well near, so I left my car there....but it was so incredible expensive!!....
But first a bit more about parking places in AMS: the policeman told us that there is much more robbery in the (even MORE expensive!) parking houses that are controlled by several cameras than in the streets. Surprise!
Alternatively to save money you can leave your car on big "park & ride" places outside the city (but even less save) and use then public transport...normally I would have done that, but after my car was once broken, I didn´t trust anymore in those places and prefered to leave the car next to police station. Result:
For 2 and a half day I payed more than 65 Euro there for the car. MAD!!!...
So, if you don´t have to go by car to AMS; don´t do it!! You don´t need the car in Amsterdam, there is good public transport, bikes, ships, whatever to use.
... is not recommended at all. It's very difficult to find a parkplace and if you're lucky enough to find one, you'll have to pay the price. So, the best thing is to park your car in a parking outside the center and go to A'dam by tube/train. Try to find a "P&R" parking (cf. internet link), it's only 5,50 euros a day and for the price you get 2 metro tickets that you have to use to get the discount (otherwise it's 19 euros)
When you see a cross where you want to park dont park your car here.
It can be that it is sharing a car place like for car2go, connectcars.
It can be only for police
It can be a special Handicap parking mostly you will see a licenseplate sign.
Your car will be tow away
for cheaper parking look on the map web link
I dont think there is any free parking in Amsterdam no more
I came to Amsterdam last week and since we stayed in an airbnb close to westerpark, we planned to park at the P+R Bos en Lommer. Once we arrived there we didnt manage to enter the parking as there was no ticket coming out of the machine. After half an hour someone finally came and told us that P+R is booked out even though the garage was half empty!!! apparently they have only a few spots under p+r tarif and the rest is regular parking price. So we ended up parking in the p+r garage but paying 12€ per day instead of 1€ and didnt even get a tram ticket!! Very bad service, also I had to use my credit card to enter and didnt know what they will charge me. My airbnb host recommended me later a parking service called mobypark, where you can book a private parking, I will try this one next time, so if anyone has already experience with this service let me know!
If you are visiting Amsterdam with a car then be aware of parking because it's very expensive, between 3.60 and 4.60 euro/ hour, I guess it's depending of the area. there are some parking with 1euro/hour but they are little far from the city center, so choose good where you park because it can cost you a lot of money ; )
Pay attention while driving your car on the road.
There are many speedometers ready to shot a picture of your license plates and give you a ticket. So read the road signs about speed limits.
Speedometers are also well signaled.
If you are bald enough and also got the luck to find a parking spot, be sure you pay for a card at the machine.
If you get in trouble despite all the WARNINGS I gave you, look for Oom Agent (Uncle Policeman). This one is guarding the Dam Square.
And don't cycle at pedestrain areas or walkways!
If you come in amsterdam by car, you'll have to park outside of centre because streets are very small and the parking is hard and expensive.
I would advise against taking a car with German plates into the city. Our car was vandalized twice -- with serious damage. The officer told us that the German plates might have been a factor.
Not only is parking difficult but expensive. Be careful of where you park. If your car is clamped, a yellow sticker on the window will tell you where to pay the fine.
Big Brother is watching you
In fact these cameras are used by the police in order to control the traffic. But you never know who is watching you, so
you better behave . . . . .